Fidden Farm Campsite, Mull

Fidden Farm Campsite, Mull

Getting out and about across Scotland (and elsewhere of course) is a whole lot easier with a camper van.  You have everything you need conveniently stowed – including the kitchen sink – and a roof to put over your head when the weather turns nasty.  It’s camping in style and comfort, without the draughts, wet patches and leaky lilos.

We got Lydia from new just before Christmas 2010.  She’s a VW California with a 180 horsepower bi-turbo diesel engine that can either ride along sedately or shift her 3 tonnes surprisingly quickly.

We’d talked for years – literally – about the idea of owing a camper van.  We eyed other (van) campers enviously from our tent: “wouldn’t it be great to have a camper van, one day ?”.  Well, “one day” always seemed too far off.  It was never going to come.  But over the years we started to get our heads around this major purchase.  We dipped our toe in the water and hired a bright yellow early-70s Bay and took it up to Islay for a week.  Being an absolute mechanical liability (more later) meant that we soon put romantic notions of original Bays out of our minds.  We then viewed one of the many conversions and toyed with their various pros and cons.  But when we actually saw a Cali in a showroom no conversion got anywhere near the build quality and design ingenuity of the VW.

A combination of factors finally made us come to our senses: some cash sitting in the savings account, a realisation that the kids would be grown up before we knew it and cancer taking my sister-in-law before her 50th birthday.  “Life’s for living“, we said, and we never looked back.

So why’s called Lydia ?  Well, all camper vans soon develop personalities.  Being a modern twist on a retro model we wanted a modern-yet-traditional name.  It’s a long story but the name “Lydia” was already top of our list of girl’s names and so Lydia she became.

So, a quick intro to Lydia for now … and much more later …

4 Comments on “Meet Lydia !

  1. Hello Lydia and Lydia’s owner too.. we are still in the “eyeing up other people’s vans and wondering if we’ll ever own a camper ourselves” stage. Your blog looks like its going to push us forward a bit! Thank you.

    • Thanks for your feedback. Hopefully I’ve managed to provide a little more inspiration to help you take the plunge !

  2. Hello, I’ve been enjoying your blog and tips concerning the VW Cali. We purchased ours end of january 2014 and are waiting for delivery in the month of june !! My dream is coming with our Cali to Scotland, so I’ve bookmarked your site as one of my top favourites !!! When everything goes well this will be planned for 2015. Greetings from Belgium

    • Hi !

      Great to hear from you. I bet this will be the longest five months of your life waiting for your Cali to arrive !

      I’m glad you’re finding my various posts and tips about the Cali useful. We’ve had ours for three years now and so it’s sometimes easy to forget the questions that new / prospective owners have – so feel free to suggest any topics you would like me to cover in my blog.

      I’m happy to also answer any questions you have about coming to Scotland – just let me know.

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